Opening weekend box office numbers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens are tracking between $185-$210 million, solidly in the record breaking range for a December opening, with the higher end of the estimates tracking to break all-time opening box office records.
A report from Deadline shows that this range is aggregated from various predictions, with the highest predicting as much as $300 million. The report also predicts $100 million in presale tickets alone, double what has alread been reported. As the report stresses, these numbers are all speculative, with few films reaching $100 million opening weekends to base the information on.
Disney has been quick to temper expectations, with chairman Alan Horn telling The Hollywood Reporter, "There are a number of things that put this film in uncharted territory, literally uncharted territory, making it even more difficult than usual to predict what the opening weekend will be. Especially this far out from release with the bulk of our campaign ahead of us."
"It’s natural for people to want to view this and compare this to a summer blockbuster, but films in December don’t have the same historical release patterns as summer films,” Horn continued. “In December it’s rare to see a big debut — there’s only a handful above $70 million by the way, with the record being something like $84 million. People are shopping, they’re traveling, they also know that their kids are going to be on vacation in a week and they’re going to all go see movies together."
The December opening box office record is held by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which raked in $85 million.
We'll see how Star Wars: The Force Awakens fares at the box office when it opens on December 18.